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Just add duck crepinettes!

Buying ready to drink 1er cru Burgundy is not easy. For a couple of years I did the Old and Rare wine buying here at K&L and found it easy to find California Cabernet and even Bordeaux from collectors. But Burgundy… Forget it. They had to die, get a divorce or have doctors orders to part with the king of all Pinot Noir! This bottle of 2007 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Nuits St-Georges 1er cru Les Boudots ($99) comes direct from the property from our friends at Atherton, and like most of the 2007’s, drinks fabulously right now. This wine showed excellent sweet beet fruit, savory depth, and incredible finesse and length. The tannins are completely resolved, and went perfectly with duck crepinettes from the fatted calf in San Francisco. This is the kind of Burgundy that gets people hooked- you have been warned!!!! –Gary Westby

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Entries in Domaine St-Nicolas (1)

Wednesday
Mar022011

Wine of the Week: St. Nicolas "Les Clous" Fief Vendéens

Just south of Muscadet, near the mouth of the Loire River, is a tiny, nascent growing region that few people, other than then the geekiest of Loire fans, have ever heard of: Fief Vendéens. Now you can count yourself among the fortunate few. This VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure, testing ground for new appellations) includes small villages like Bretignolles-sur-Mer, Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, and Brem-sur-Mer, where today's Wine of the Week, made by Domaine Saint Nicolas, comes from. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas's estate, which was has been cultivated organically since 1995, is spread out over 32 hectares on the Ile d'Olonne, edging up against that region's famed salt marshes. Its soils are clay and schist, and its vineyard composition is reflective of the region: Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Grolleau Gris (also spelled Groslot). Owner Thierry Michon now farms his grapes biodynamically, harvests by hand, and vinifies his wines to allow the nearby sea, woodland and salt marshes to speak through his wines. While the exact cépage for his 2009 Domaine Saint Nicolas "Les Clous" Fief Vendéens ($16.99) seems to be up for debate, the bottle, our buyer, the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate can all agree that it's predominantly Chenin Blanc. Whether the rest is 10% Grolleau, 15% Chardonnay and 5% Grolleau, or some other combination doesn't really matter though, the point is the wine is 100% delicious, and on that everyone can seem to agree.

The wine is a bit geeky, and a touch oxidative, but not so much so that it would be off-putting to those new to the style. The nose is a seductive blend of baked Comice pear and petrol. Tangy and filigreed on the palate, it tastes like a mouthful of Murcot tangerine, its blossoms, quince, animal crackers and pineapple eaten out in the fresh sea air. Its acidic lift and stony finish will help it at the table, where it's a natural pairing with langoustines, oysters and other sea creatures. I think it also has enough acidity to stand up to a summery gazpacho and enough texture to meld with grilled pork or chicken. 

Leah Greenstein